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Table 1 Overview of studies reviewed

From: Protective socks for people with diabetes: a systematic review and narrative analysis

Study Demographic data Inclusion criteria (in addition to diabetes) Findings
Blackwell et al. [34] N° of subjects 21 Diabetes with foot complaints, no active ulceration Plantar pressure assessed with Parotec system
Gender 10 M : 11 F
Mean age (range) 57.4 (20-83) No significant difference between JBOST diabetic sock, normal sock or barefoot
Diabetes duration Not stated
Veves et al. [35] N° of subjects 27 High plantar pressures (>10 kg/cm2) Plantar pressure assessed with optical pedobarograph
Gender 15 M: 2 F Neuropathy (diminished nerve conduction & vibration perception) Experimental socks [Thorlo] provided significant pressure reduction compared with pts own socks or barefoot (both p < 0.001)
Mean age (range) 54 (26-74)
Diabetes duration not stated Able walk unaided, no PVD, no ulcer history
Veves et al. [36] Gender not stated Neuropathy (diminished vibration perception & absent ankle reflex) Plantar pressure assessed with optical pedobarograph
Experimental group (n = 10)
mean age (range) 51.3 (27-65)
Duration of diabetes not stated Significant reduction in pressure of experimental socks [Thorlo] compared with padded sports socks & barefoot (all p < 0.001). Pressure reduction maintained by experimental socks at 3 & 6 months.
Control group n = 16
Mean age (range) 55.8 (33-70)
Garrow et al. [37] N° of subjects 19 Neuropathy (neuropathy disability score >5 or diminished vibration perception ≥25). Plantar pressure assessed with F-scan system
Gender 15 M:4 F
Mean age (range) 65.5 (39-80) Ulcer-free at recruitment Preventative Foot Care Diabetic socks provided significant increase in foot contact area (p < 0.01), a reduction total pressure (p < 0.01).
Diabetes duration median 20 yrs
High plantar pressure (≥6 kg/cm2).
Murray et al. [38] N° of subjects 86 Neuropathy (diminished pressure or vibration perception) Questionnaire based satisfaction survey over 6 month period using Thorlo socks
Gender 69 M :17 F
Mean age (range) 63 (34-85) No active ulceration Socks reported good/very good by 86%, average by 12% & poor by 3%.
Mean diabetes (range) 16 (1–45 yrs 84% reported continue sock use at 3 & 6 months
Banchellini et al. [39] N° of subjects 30 Peripheral neuropathy (ADA criteria) Skin parameters tested:
Gender not stated Hydration (hydration score) Hardness (Durometer)
Group A (Difoprev) socks Anhidrosis (Clinical features & Neuropad test) Moisture loss (Scalar moisture checker)
Mean age 59.6 (SD13.8) Water loss (TEWL vapometer)
Duration diabetes 16.1 (SD9) No active ulceration, ABPI >0.9, Serum creatinine >2 mg/dL All skin parmeters improved over 6 week trial (Difoprev) socks & normal socks
Group B (no active sock ingredient)
Mean age 61.4 (SD15.5) Skin hydration p < 0.01 Skin hardness p <0.05
Duration diabetes 15.7 (SD6.9) No systemic skin disease, no B-blocker therapy
Controls (normal socks) Skin moisture loss p < 0.01 Skin water loss p < 0.01
Mean age 60.5 (SD11.4)
Yick et al. [40] No of subjects 4 No inclusion criteria stated Plantar pressure (Pedar system)
Gender not stated Skin temperature & humidity (system not stated)
Age not stated Socks tested not stated
Diabetes duration not stated Considerable pressure reduction stated but not per sock type
Thermal properties are stated but not compared between socks or post sock wear